This bright flock and their can-do attitude is not common in my 18 years of international business in exports and marketing. I have not met any other nation that is as ‘genetically optimised’ to export excellence.
Just like everything else in life, excess leads to less! Believe it or not this applies to the excellent attitude, capacity, capability, enthusiasm and innovative spirit of the NZ export community.
To avoid any such ill-fated twist in pursuit of success, and to share my 2-cents worth (or less) here are 5 pointers that I invite you to consider. I am keen to read your comments and field your questions; please do share your thoughts.
1. Never say no at the beginning of a sentence….just say yes, then stop and listen.
2. Stop talking, then stop again. Listening to your customer is key to selling them anything, really.
3. Don’t sell anything yet, except your integrity. Once you have established your position and credibility, selling will come naturally.
4. Happiness is the ultimate product of life, sell it and you never have to worry about anything. Ask yourself whether your product or service will create a “happy” outcome at any level. It might be solving a sticky problem, eliminating a waste, cracking a new opportunity, or ultimately harnessing a rewarding and sustainable commercial model.
5. Feel for your clients, show it. Clients sometimes are very difficult to read. Here in the Gulf (GCC) written communication is an interruption of your client’s lifestyle! Your emails will most likely end up on top of the inbox mountain. If this happens, simply find the right time to give the client a friendly call to see how they are and how things are progressing (note: time zones, though easily sourced online, can still easily be miscalculated).
The above is second nature to experienced exporters and communicators; but you will be surprised how much conscious self-discipline is needed to control the exchange.
Take off and fly high.